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Once you have harvested your cannabis, it is time to manicure it. This is the process of removing the excess leaves and branches away from your main stems with bud on them, separating the good stuff from the not so good. It can be quite a time consuming job which some will find boring and others will find relaxing and peaceful - either way, it is an essential process before moving onto drying.

To start with, it is best to work in a cool, dark room over a glass table top or at least a smooth flat surface so that you can see where all of the parts you are removing go. Next, start cutting away the excess leaves around the bud until only your bud remains. To do this properly you will need a good set of small sharp scissors – as well as a bit of patience.

Be warned, as you cut more and more your scissors become coated in resin which can make them stiff and less effective. If necessary, resin can be removed by rubbing the scissors with alcohol. Some cultivators like to rub their scissors with olive oil beforehand in order to give them a bit of resistance and lubrication. However, we have found it makes little difference; your scissors are still going to become coated.

Extra Tip: Try and save as much resin as possible from your scissors before cleaning them with alcohol, it is full of cannabinoids that can be used for some sticky hash, great for smoking or vaporizing – so don’t throw it away!

If you are manicuring a particularity large batch of marijuana, it is good advice to wear powder free latex gloves. Over time they will collect useable resin  the same as your scissors. (It is very important they are powder free, otherwise the powder will mix with the resin)  Make sure you do not touch anything but the cannabis and scissors when wearing them. When you are done, put the gloves in a plastic bag then place in the freezer for a couple of hours. Frozen resin can easily be peeled off latex.

Not everyone manicures their bud at the same time but most people will do it straight after harvest. Some cultivators like to leave it to dry a little, pulling substances from the leaves into the bud. This is thought by some to improve the taste, but on the whole it is generally not worth it as it makes manicuring much harder.

Bear in mind that light will now begin to degrade the THC levels in your bud. Once bits have been manicured you may want to place them in a tray and cover them with a black plastic bag.

At the end of the process you will be left with an abundance of leaves and offcuts. This is not waste!  Even though it is nowhere near as potent as the buds you have just collected, it does contain cannabinoids. This excess plant matter will be very harsh to smoke, but it can be made into some good hash, especially the plant matter that has a lot of resin on it.

Manicuring is an important step towards creating some high quality weed, but it is not the final step. Whilst you could use it now, it would be very harsh and produce a bad flavour. To really bring out the best your bud has to offer, it needs to be dried and cured.

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